NEW YORK : A recent study found that the poverty rate of New York City rose at the highest level.
According to an analysis by the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity released April 17 said, “The number of New Yorkers classified as poor in 2010 increased by nearly 100,000 from the year before. And raising the poverty rate by 1.3 percentage pointed to 21 percent is the highest level and the largest year-to-year increase since the city adopted a more detailed definition of poverty in 2005.
The recession and the sluggish recovery have taken a particularly harsh toll on children, with more than one in four under 18 living in poverty, study said.
Families with children were also vulnerable. They had a poverty rate of 23 percent, and a significant number of households were struggling to remain above the poverty line.
Even families with two full-time earners were more likely to be considered poor in 2010, their ranks swelled by 1.3 percentage points to 5 percent compared with 2009.
More than 1.7 million residents were poor in 2010 by the city measure.
The center placed most of the blame on reduced earnings caused by higher unemployment during the recession, which struck in New York later than in the rest of the country.
The study analysis emphasized that the poverty rate would have fly higher to 23.7 percent overall and to 27.6 percent for families with children, without the expansion of government tax credits, food stamps and other benefits since 2007.
In part because of a city outreach programme, the number of New Yorkers using food stamps projected to more than one million in 2010 from 773,000 in 2008.
Unlike the official federal poverty rate, the city’s measure takes into account tax credits and benefits as well as expenses, like medical care, child care, commuting and housing.
Those expenses increased the city’s version of the poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child family to $30,055 in 2010, compared with the federal threshold of $22,113.
A total of 7.7 percent of New Yorkers were living in extreme poverty, meaning below 50 percent of the poverty line according to the federal evaluation.
The city’s measured 5.5 percent were in extreme poverty.
The city classified 12.4 percent of New York residents as near poor living at 100 percent through 124 percent of the poverty level compared with 5.4 percent by the federal measure.
According to the federal standard, the city’s poverty rate increased 1.5 percentage points to 18.8 percent from 2009 to 2010.
The poverty rate had declined for years from a high of 20.5 percent in 2005 but began climbing in 2008, when the recession hit.
Hispanic and black New Yorkers, including children, were hit especially hard, according to the study.
BDST: 1816 HRS, APR 18, 2012
Edited by Mohammed Humayun Kabir, Sr Newsroom Editor